Saturday, August 30, 2008

SHE'S HERE!!!

Update - Click here for some pictures my mom took today of Saffron.

Finally - Saffron Viola Blume decided to make an appearance. She was born around 3:45 am this morning. 7 lbs. 3 oz and 19 inches long. Mom, baby and Dad are all doing great! I can't wait to meet her! Check out my
dad's blog post. I hope to have pictures posted tonight!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I love my puppy!

I pointed out to Uncas the other night that there are very few pictures of me and Sammy. He promptly took the camera and started snapping away. He even took some last night too!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Puppy Update

Of course, I can't go too long without posting some pictures of my favorite puppy. He is now four months old and still such a cutie. He did great at my mom's party this weekend where there were nearly 50 people present. We did start puppy training classes last week, but unfortunately I did not like the instructor at all, so we got a refund and are searching around for a new class.

He is still adjusting to his kennel, but it has been getting slightly better. He loves going for walks and sits very still when we put his harness on. He also likes going places in the car. He still sleeps in his dog bed at night, but lately he has been waking up in the middle of the night and crying and trying to get on our bed.

His favorite toy is still the tennis ball that Grandma N gave him the very first weekend we got him. He loves running around the yard with it in his mouth while we chase him. My parents have a big canvas bag which they store all the dog toys that they have accumulated for Tina and Snoopy and now Sammy. Sammy didn't pay much attention to it the last time he was there because Tina and Snoopy were around. This past weekend he discovered how much fun not only the toys are, but the bag as well. Uncas suggested to me last night that we get a similar bag for us at home. Currently his toys are just strewn about our living room. I went to Lands' End tonight and found a bag with the monogram SG on it. We decided that it stands for Sammy the Great. You will see from the pictures, he does like the new bag . . .

Here are the most recent pictures from the past couple of weeks of our dog.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

SURPRISE!!!!

Today is my mom's 60th birthday! To celebrate we decided to throw her a surprise party! It started as my dad's idea way back in April. So we planned, plotted, shopped, invited, and even told a couple of white lies to my mom to prepare for the big day. Check out her reaction!

video
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So many friends and family came to the celebration - many traveling from far away. My parents were in Chicago during the weekend and drove home on Saturday. The original plan was to have them back at their house around 1:30. I called them at 12:30 (pretending to be in Minneapolis) and they were still about 2 hours away! I gave my father some great advice "SPEED!!!" and everyone just hung out outside for a little bit longer. Just after 2:30 they pulled up. My dad rushed in the house (claiming he needed to use the rest room) and my mom followed in slowly. To say she was surprised is putting it mildly! She was pretty much speechless!

A huge thank you to my in-laws who helped out a lot before, during and after the party as well as my Aunt Margit and Uncle Dale (and my cousins who were recruited to help carrying things). Everything went smoothly - we had great food, beautiful weather, and lots of laughs.

I am so happy that we were able to pull this off. It felt so great to give something back to my mom. She definitely deserved a fun day and we wanted to show her how much we love her! I tried to take some pictures of the day in between running around. Check them out!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Today's Fishing Report

Today Uncas and I met up with my friend Sally and her husband Mike and their two kids Monty and Maisy. Mike and the kids have gone fishing from shore and really enjoyed it, so Uncas offered to take them out in his boat. We picked today and it was beautiful weather. Sally and I just stayed on shore with Sammy. We had a great time just hanging out, chatting and watching Sammy.

Uncas and Mike also had a fun time with the kids on the boat. They caught well over 3 dozen fish. Maisy caught 9 and Monty caught 12! They were very excited and did great on the boat. Monty caught the last fish, a "bottom-feeder" - which is what he exclaimed to me and Mallory as they came to shore. Apparently he caught a bullhead, which was roughly 12 inches long. As it was getting reeled in, chaos ensued on the boat because the kids were a little scared of the fish (it didn't look like any they had seen earlier in the day). Here are pictures from their fun fishing day. While Uncas wasn't able to do a ton of fishing himself, he really enjoyed fishing with the kids. We are planning on doing it again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Sink!

I am not sure if you remember that trip to Menards that Uncas and I took before we moved into the house? Remember, we loaded everything and the kitchen sink into my little Honda Civic? Well, that was about three months ago and we still had yet to install that sink in our new house. But this was finally the weekend. I did my best to keep Sammy occupied while Uncas went to work.

BEFORE - our old gross, heavy porceline sink.


The HOLE.

Our new sink and faucet!


It is so wonderful and works so well! Uncas did a great job! I am lucky that I have such a great husband who is willing to do handy work around the house!!!


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Monday, August 11, 2008

Caiden's Baptism and 3 Dachshund

We had another busy weekend of traveling, but it was a lot of fun. It started on Friday when we headed down to my parents house. They were dog-sitting for my brother's two dachshunds - Tina and Snoopy, so Sammy was beyond thrilled to be greeted by his cousins. They played quite a bit on Friday night in the yard - even Tina played with Sammy. Later on we went inside and Grandma and Grandpa showed Sammy all of his wonderful clothes that they purchased for him at the big Lands' End sale. They got him 3 jackets and 2 sweaters. Yes, our puppy will be well outfitted for the colder months!

Saturday the dogs play a lot in the morning together - starting around 6 am! We got them settled down for a little while (we all got to nap), but then Tina spotted something outside and woke us all up again. In the afternoon my mom and I took Sammy for a trip to Dodgeville. I checked out the LE sale, saw some old LE co-workers and then we went to visit my Grandma. It was her first time meeting Sammy. She made some yummy treats for him and he loved sleeping on her bed. The theme this month at her place is "the dog-days of summer" and there was even a picture of Sammy in the lobby. We took him around to see everyone. They all thought he was cute, except for the people playing cards - they were in the middle of a very serious game and didn't give him the time of day.

That night we my mom and I took the dogs on a walk. We went down the street to my mom's pastor's house. They have two dachshunds, so we had five little dogs out in the yard! They were all on leashes and kept getting tangled up. It was so funny! Check out all the pictures of the puppy fun!

Grandma with Sammy!

Sunday we arose very early. Sammy heard the other dogs at 5, so he wanted to get up too. We were driving down to IL for Caiden's baptism. First we dropped off all the dogs at my brothers. It was our first time leaving Sammy, but I knew that he was in good hands with Derek and Jeanna. We made it to the church in plenty of time and there we found out that they needed a stand-in sponsor. The person who was asked to be the godfather was not able to attend the service, so Lisa and Brian asked Reid to stand-in for him. Caiden was so good during the baptism and service. He wore the cutest little preppy outfit and the water didn't dampen his wild curly hair for very long. There was a big turn out and we got a picture of the whole crew.

Before we headed to Lisa's mom's house for the after-party, we decided to surprise my other Grandma for a visit. She was so happy to see us! It's always fun to see her, even though the visit was short.
After visiting with Grandma, we headed to the party. There was a lot of good food and a beautiful cake that Lisa's sister made. It tasted as good as it looked. It was so much fun to see not only Lisa and Brian, but the rest of their family as well. Caiden was such a trooper and when he awoke from his nap, he was happy as can be! Here are some pictures of the baptism. Unfortunately the time flew and we had to head back north.

My parents dropped us off at our car and Uncas and I headed to my brother's to pick up Sammy. He had a great afternoon! They played and played, and rested with Auntie Jeanna and then played some more. I hadn't been to my brother's in a while, so I was able to see all the work that they have put into the house. The baby's room is sooooo cute and all ready for the baby to come! Poor Jeanna looked pretty uncomfortable, but she was hanging in there.

Sammy was so exhausted from his weekend of playing with his cousins that he slept the whole entire drive home. We were caught in some really bad traffic just before midnight due to an accident, so we didn't get home till very late. Sammy slept for most of the day today. Even though it was a lot of traveling, it was worth seeing everyone!

Sorry for the long post, but if you made it this far, check out the video I took of walking the three dogs on Saturday night!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hanging at Lucky's House

We had a great weekend hanging out around town. This morning Uncas got up early and went fishing. Sammy and I hung out at home for awhile (slept) and joined Uncas later at the lake. It was our first chance to check out his boat since he made all of his improvements.


Here are a couple of the improvements - a new depth finder and fancy cup holders. He also put in some very comfortable seats.


He caught a bunch of little fishes (like the one pictured here). I sat back and relaxed and read my book. Sammy slept and checked out the sights.
On Saturday night, we went over to our friend's Jessie and Rob's house. They have a cute little dog named Lucky. We were excited for our dogs to meet. Unfortunately, Sammy was a little too eager to be friends with Lucky and his puppy energy was no match for Lucky either. Much of the evening Sammy was chasing Lucky around, trying to get him to play. When Sammy wasn't busy bugging Lucky, he was busy leaving various bodily excretions around their house . . . we were not pleased (and rather embarrassed), but Jessie and Rob were very nice about the whole thing. After a tasty dinner, we sat down to play some Rock Band. It's a video game where people play different instruments to popular songs. Very fun and yet very challenging.

Here is Sammy trying to get close to Lucky.

Sammy curled up and sleeping on the couch with his new toy turtle.
Lucky sleeping on the other couch, relieved that no little puppy is bothering him!
Jessie, Uncas and Rob rocking out!

Sammy and the Tennis Ball

I made this video of Sammy today. Grandma Nimz gave him this tennis ball the first weekend we got Sammy. He always liked it, but he is having a lot more fun with it, now that he can carry it in his mouth while running!

Friday, August 1, 2008

One Year Later

I will never forget August 1, 2007. It was a beautiful summer day. Neither Uncas or I felt like cooking that night, so off we went to eat some Pad Thai at a restaurant. When we returned home, our neighbor asked us if we had watched the news. I remember thinking to myself - now how would we be watching the news when we just pulled up in our car?! He told us part of 35W had collapsed! What?! That caught my attention - Where? Over the Mississippi River . . . oh - we hadn't heard that news. I could even remember thinking - where is that at? I used 35W every day going to work, but was getting off just two exits from that section. I honestly couldn't think of what section he was talking about. So of course we rushed inside to turn on the tv. And before we did that, we got out our cell phones to call our parents - we're ok.

All night we were glued to the tv. What are we going to do? How am I going to get to work? How will we get to Duluth? I wonder if I know anyone who was there. And of course, the immense sadness of the whole tragedy. The next day, everyone on my bus going to work was very quiet. As we pulled onto 35W the bus driver made the announcement that our route would be detoured because they had closed off a very large section of 35W. When I arrived at work it was check in time and relief that everyone was ok in our department. That day over lunch a group of us walk down to look at the bridge. It literally looked like a movie set - it seemed very unreal.

I am reminded of the bridge collapse every day. I take 35W and see the orange road signs "Road Closed Ahead - must exit" as I go to and from work. I see the tall cranes in a distance. The detour is starting to seem like no big deal. There is so much construction on 35W (not even from the bridge collapse, but closer to home), I can't even remember what it was like before. But here we are, a year later. The bridge is nearly complete - scheduled to open in late September. I wonder when the new bridge opens if I will stop thinking about it as much? When we cross over the Mississippi on Washington Ave, will I stop looking over in the direction of the collapse?

Here is a picture of the new bridge: